Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,264 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Smash: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 663
  2. Negative: 0 out of 663
663 tv reviews
  1. I like what I've seen, though there are more than a couple of moments where the only possible reaction is "Naaah."
  2. The premiere has a nice look, and its "Rashomon"-style flashbacks are very well shot. It also features a socko ending and one ingenious bit of plotting involving thieving hookers. Yet the storytelling is often muddy, and sorting out characters and determining who does what is more of a challenge than the episode is worth. [6 Oct 2000, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  3. It's an enigma, at the very least uneven.
  4. Watchable but disappointing. [21 Sept 1993, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  5. This split-personality series that speaks with two voices: one thoughtful and intelligent, the louder one glib and derivative. [29 Sept 1999, p.F6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  6. Glimmers of good acting peep through this maze of melodrama. Yet "St. Elsewhere" practiced more interesting medicine, and Kelley's Emmy-laden "Picket Fences" is bolder and more likable. More significant, so is "ER."
  7. Oft-funny but problematic. ... {The] humor ranges from inspired to cheap and sophomoric. [29 Jan 1999]
    • Los Angeles Times
  8. The best thing Criminal Intent did was dump its low-brow, lower-IQ pilot. What remains, though, is routine at best, the violent master criminal planning a million-dollar diamond heist in the premiere naturally proving no match for the brilliant, X-ray-sighted Goren.
  9. What it all adds up to tonight, unfortunately, is something akin to a very slow camel or burro ride across long stretches of arid desert. There's dialogue galore, but comparatively little action and virtually no suspense.
  10. More often than not, however, most of the laughs are junior too.
  11. Early Firefly lacks majesty, and also that its laborious pace is hardly Star Warsian. [20 Sept 2002, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  12. Everwood has much going against it, most notably an absence of subtlety that undermines Brown and others. He is so arrogant and smug (with a bedside manner bordering on the smarmy) that he's likable only compared with his conveniently snotty and mean-spirited rival. It's a stretch, by the way, that Abbott would be the only doctor in this rather cosmopolitan hamlet of 9,000 prior to Brown's arrival. [16 Sept 2002, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  13. Leno's got his desk, he's got his guests and no one expects him to do anything but what he's done for so many years: protect the "Tonight Show" franchise. After all that has happened, that may or may not be enough.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The cheese factor is undeniable, but The Bachelor makes a connection with its audience beyond the vicarious thrill. [25 Mar 2002, p.C20]
    • Los Angeles Times
  14. Where once Nip/Tuck crackled, it now whines and sighs; where once it shocked, it now plays nice.
  15. Though Baron Cohen is clever and amusing and quick on his feet, his humor boils down to a few endlessly repeated gambits: malapropisms, misunderstandings, and outrageousness in the guise of innocence. [17 July 2004, p.13]
    • Los Angeles Times
  16. It is, to be fair, watchable enough, if watched uncritically, and not without flashes of high craft; art and inspiration are a little beyond its grasp. [3 Jan 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
  17. It's "Desperate Housewives" all over again -- the whodunit overlaid by a titillating comedy of shame-based suburban manners and shame-based depravity, the word "bitch" used scandalously. [24 Sep 2006]
    • Los Angeles Times
  18. All of the wives are more interesting than their husband. Paxton's character remains a problem for me and, as the pole on which this tent depends, a crucial one.
  19. I suppose there are women in the world as empty as the instantly beddable Maxim babes the producers habitually drape around their boys, but it would help to give them even something stupid to say -- it strikes a wrong note, this neo-retro sexism, even if it accurately reflects the world view of the characters or, indeed, their actual world. It's a failing that even the presence of Debi Mazar (great, as always) as Vince's publicist and the intriguing Samaire Armstrong (from "The O.C.") as Eric's budding love interest does not redeem. [17 July 2004, p.E1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  20. Though the TV version catches some of the tone and replicates the topicality of the big-screen originals, and shares executive producers, it lacks their grounded reality -- not too surprising, really, for a work of fiction based on a work of fiction -- as well as their warmth. [12 Aug 2005, p.E2]
    • Los Angeles Times
  21. Although we are meant to regard its dishonest protagonists as the epitome of contemporary cool, they come off as self-satisfied and pretentious.
  22. Polished and lively, it is also simplistic, melodramatic and half-baked — though it clips along nicely enough that you may not notice.
  23. The comedy equivalent of low-hanging fruit. [3 June 2005, p.E1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  24. [Gilbert] seems like a real person, even in such a cartoon as this is.
  25. That the story... snakes around a lot, tossing supernatural red herrings in its wake, keeps it oddly compelling, even as it grows increasingly preposterous, not only as regards the supernatural but as to how people really act.
  26. "Threshold" is a comic book, and passable as such.
  27. "Inconceivable" is a much more tentative exercise than "Nip/Tuck," offering only the mildest hints of comment on the world it depicts, of affluent people going to great lengths to bear children.
  28. Nothing about the pilot of "Teachers" is particularly eye- or ear-opening.
  29. It's a decent enough show, a soap opera essentially, playing around with heavy themes and life-changing events but lightweight enough not to make you think too hard or keep you glued to the television when you decide you want something from the refrigerator — the TV equivalent of a beach book.
  30. Like "Martha," in which she is required to appear interested in celebrities and to whip up the crowd, "The Apprentice" is not a perfect fit.
  31. Hewitt is quite good, or as good as the show allows; there are some potholes along the way, as the script sacrifices sense to sentiment.
  32. Although there is nothing compelling... ["Out Of Practice" is a] professional job and not hard to watch.
  33. Neither a disaster nor a triumph.
  34. "Human Trafficking" is at once a sobering, tough-to-watch dramatization about girls taken from the streets of their hometowns around the world and sold into sexual servitude and a clichéd drama about said topic.
  35. Given that it wants to seem edgy and quirky, "Saved" is remarkably rich in cliché... Still, it's no worse than average and has Tom Everett Scott in it, which is a nice thing for TV viewers.
  36. The show, in its way, is too slight to be totally fulfilling, tending to collapse into slapstick, but it can get by on moments.
  37. The pilot has a "Steel Magnolias" feel to it: Too many stars, too many faces, too many names, a cornucopia of character business.
  38. You begin to feel strung along on an errand whose complexities can't mask the fact that the main character isn't great company.
  39. If "The Class" feels calculated, unrelated to life outside sitcoms, and encased in amber, it's a competent American product, ultimately, no harder to watch than, say, a Dodge is to drive.
  40. Here it feels as if Sorkin has chosen an outdated media milieu for his secular humanist dramaturgy. His first TV series, "Sports Night," was ahead of the times, but "Studio 60" is behind them.
  41. I, the Jury, am still out on this one; it could go either way from here.
  42. It was [creators Burnett and Beckerman's] style on "Ed" to be too cutesy by half, and so here
  43. The film as a whole is a strange case of mostly excellent parts that make an overlong and tedious whole.
  44. It's a somber, often leaden affair, beset with stiff dialogue.
  45. The trouble with Feresten isn't his comedy; it's his difficulty creating any intimacy with the audience or the camera. He's got the irony down cold but the empathy not so much.
  46. Almost from the get-go there's far more galumphing than trotting going on, and not all of it done by prehistoric feet. Things pick up in the third episode and there are dodos in the fourth, but it's not enough, no, not nearly enough.
  47. There are more than a few problems here.
  48. Swingtown walks a fine line between being a period piece, down to the pudding cups, baseball shirts and snatches of the old "$10,000 Pyramid," and parody.
  49. Such a concept seem ripe with delicious possibility. The show, unfortunately, is not. Played out as a cop procedural, it has a predictable narrative structure that at times resembles nothing so much as a prison.
  50. Some of it is very enjoyable, some of it is silly but still enjoyable, some of it is too silly to be enjoyable, some of it is not silly enough to be enjoyable, and some of it is neither here nor there.
  51. Vampire fantasy, murder mystery, star-crossed love story, political satire, True Blood is all and none of the above. Not quite funny, not quite scary, not quite thought-provoking, the show's attempt to question the roots of prejudice is continually undermined by its own stereotyping.
  52. Camp Rock isn't particularly good, but it's good at what it does. The product may be "inauthentic," if such a thing is even possible, but the way it will connect with a lot of little girls and more than a few little boys is real enough.
  53. The play, and the production, might have been better served by rolling a few cameras into the theater, but I know that isn't how people like to do these things.
  54. Unfortunately, so smitten are the creators of John Adams with historical earnestness and pedigree they seem to have forgotten how to tell a good story.
  55. It's not all bad, but nothing in it argues that it needed to be made other than to give the people who made it something to do. It's a mediocre misfire in which the odd good parts beg for a better home.
  56. Television, like love, is a matter of chemistry, of which none is yet obvious between the leads here. Will it come? Trevor would tell you that you should know it in an instant, while Claire would reserve judgment; they're both right, of course, some of the time.
  57. The problem is that in the pilot and an early episode, the crimes are nowhere as compelling as the characters. For a show like "Castle" that dares to launch a more classic version into an already saturated and tarted-up market, the murders have to be as complicated and compelling as the push-me-pull-you glances between the main characters, and so far, they just aren't.
  58. While there's nothing particularly wrong with Do Not Disturb, neither is there anything so inspired as to make you leap to your feet, crying, "Yes! This is what television needs! More workplace comedies! More hotels!"
  59. The performances, in and of themselves, range from solid (King's) to inspired (Marshall's)....But taken together, there is both too much and too little going on.
  60. While its cynicism about suburbia is superficially novel, the show itself is quite old-fashioned if not old hat: lame dad, smart mom, cute child, knowing child, strange neighbor. Door here, door there, couch in the middle.
  61. If you are a fan of, say, "Little Britain" in Season 3, you will probably like "Little Britain USA." As for the uninitiated, well, I suppose it all comes down to a person's fondness for penis jokes.
  62. Survivors is torn between the desire to go big--it's the literal end of civilization--and small--how would an ordinary person react to the death of everyone he knows? Regrettably Survivors succeeds at neither, getting stuck instead in a blurry bog of middle ground.
  63. The Cleveland Show is neither sweet nor particularly funny, neither a family comedy nor a true satire.
  64. Given the dark flavor of Shaun Cassidy's adult TV creations and his own experiences within the music machine, Ruby feels surprisingly ordinary and uninformed, put together out of scraps from the old sitcom drawer.
  65. Crude stuff for a family newspaper, but despite the warm-and-fuzzy-celebrity cred that star Courteney Cox brings to it, some funny lines and good acting all around, Cougar Town is a crude show, built on jokes about oral sex and droopy breasts, a show in which words like "coochie" are used with regrettable abandon.
  66. There are legitimately chilling, funny and suspenseful moments in the early episodes of "Happy Town," but the many fine performances are battered to death by a welter of plot twists and cheesy revelations that come speeding out of the sky like those murderous crows in "The Birds."
  67. Between Sherri's grouchy father, adorable son and hapless ex, all the stereotypes seem to be running on full steam. It's a less-than-stellar debut, but a body set in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, and it's hard to imagine the outside force that's going to slow Sherri Shepherd down any time soon.
  68. I didn't find much of it funny, but on a kind of purely analytical level I can see how the jokes are supposed to work, and might well work on some.
  69. It is so far minor stuff, inconsistent in tone and not particularly original yet fundamentally sweet and, if not stared at too hard, appealing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Work of Art, which isn't as much bad as merely dull. Bad we could love; dull just sends us wandering off to the fridge, where inner essence consists of leftover meat loaf.
  70. Though my tolerance for tear jerking in-your-face, feel-good makeover shows is comparatively limited, I don't want to come down too hard on Breakthrough, however much it commodifies misfortune or stage-manages reality.
  71. Sadly, these factors [Kevin Nealon, Catherine O'Hara and puppet animation] only amplify my disappointment in what, on the basis of one episode and a handful of clips, looks to be a weak and wheezy show.
  72. Ryan prompts the patrons to talk, but the stories don't really develop into much; and although the arms-buying demographic is indeed wider than one who has not spent much time in a gun store might imagine, their reasons for buying tend to be variations on the same few themes: I was robbed; I don't want to be robbed; guns are fun to collect and shoot.
  73. It's difficult to make cold-blooded and calculating people interesting and empathetic, and yet it must be done. Because fight scenes will take you only so far. Especially when there are no big dance numbers.
  74. Detroit 1-8-7 is, rather than a slice of life, very much a slab of TV. And yet, as currently constituted, the show's only way forward is through the unlikely Fitch; his emotional awkwardness is more interesting than the cases he works.
  75. There's actually no reason this couldn't be a perfectly fine legal procedural, except there's no indication that anyone is attempting to make it one. The script is strictly writing by numbers.
  76. It tries very hard not to take the expected path. Too hard, unfortunately. So determined are Hunt, executive producer/showrunner Jenny Bicks and Linney that The Big C be unsentimental that they jam early episodes with so many over-blown characters and wacky antics that it's impossible to attach meaning to any of them.
  77. It's a noble goal and one hopes that after viewing School Pride, volunteers spring up, committees form and checks are written. Because to merely watch the show and wallow in its many throat-tightening moments would be to remain a voyeur, and then you're just part of the problem.
  78. It's clear that Wells has nothing but respect for the original material; if only he felt the same for American viewers. Unfortunately, [executive producer John Wells] seems to have bought into the notion that Americans need everything to be bigger, louder, messier and drawn in primary colors.
  79. In attempting to be both sprawling and intimate, The Kennedys winds up in a narrative no-man's land.
  80. As an attempt to tell the truth about an attempt to tell the truth about the state of domestic relations in a time of changing values, Cinema Verite fails--it cannot help but fail--as anything but a platform for some interesting performances and a few explicitly, loudly and briefly argued ideas about where one should draw the line when you point a camera into innocent people's lives.
  81. Once known, this fact [the series is based on the lives its creators] lends to the project an authenticity that might not otherwise be apparent, so steeped is it in the rhythms and conventions of the 20th century sitcom.
  82. As if afraid they will be accused of not taking things seriously enough, the creators walk through much of the pilot as if through a minefield, which is to say ver-ry slowly and ver-ry carefully. Not the best pacing considering the subject matter.
  83. As is often the case with melodrama, I find Revenge essentially unconvincing and also quite likable.
  84. Hart of Dixie is a stack of familiar scenarios stitched together to form a pretty if not terribly substantial quilt, of the sort Zoe encounters in Bluebell.
  85. Certainly Olbermann is refreshing, and singular, in the clarity of his mission, which is to defend the liberal point of view with the same sort of take-no-prisoners rhetoric that conservative pundits like Bill O'Reilly have wielded so effectively. But the blatant uber-medianess of his persona seems, at times, in direct conflict with that belief that "the weakest citizen is more important than the strongest corporation."
  86. Everything is presented far too briefly. For all her geographic ambition, Alexandra Pelosi winds up conducting an exit poll rather than telling a real story.
  87. The film aims for a dry authenticity that only fractionally reflects the big, wild volume on which it's based, cutting away nearly all of its poetry and most of its madness.
  88. We get a glimpse of some intriguing characters that we don't, however, quite come to know--not in the episodes I've seen, anyway--because we are being pelted the whole time with exposition and explanation. We're rarely allowed just to look or listen in or to think for ourselves.
  89. At something more than five hours, Prohibition, while interesting from moment to moment, is longer than it needs to be, and made even longer by Burns' habitual stateliness.
  90. Despite the strength of its parts, the whole feels very nascent and shaky.
  91. The pilot is a minor thing but not an unpleasant one, once you get past the opening salvo of pubic-hair jokes.
  92. What viewers are left with, then, are some excellent fight and chase scenes, an outstanding supporting cast (who, alas, only highlight the main character's deficiencies) and a lot of truly beautiful location work. It may be enough, but it could, and should, have been so much more.
  93. If for the most part this Treasure Island does not shiver my timbers, at a running time of three hours (four with ads), some things are bound to work, if only by the law of averages.
  94. Rays of charm do break through the haze of the ordinary and obvious, even if just for a line or a line reading.
  95. Though it is clearly based on research, with dialogue that scavenges the principals' own writing--it is never quite believable, either as history or drama.
  96. It is not a train wreck; it's just a train--chugging along from A to B, carrying the people, delivering the freight.
  97. The deal you make with a series like this is, if it doesn't ask too much of you, you won't ask too much of it.
  98. As a professionally discerning adult, I could not help but notice that the characters are fairly stock, the situations familiar and, some nifty digital backgrounds notwithstanding, the production continually felt more like an elaborate game of let's pretend than it did a window into some real other world. I didn't buy a second of it.

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